Call for Abstracts: 2020 Child Life Annual Conference

The conference will be held at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter from May 21 to May 24, 2020.

The Annual Conference is designed for and attracts representatives at every level of the child life profession in hospital, physician practice, and academic settings.

The online submission portal was open on June 1st and closed at 11:59 pm Eastern on June 30, 2019. For more information, please download the 2020 Call for Abstract Guidelines.
The collection of abstract submissions for the 2020 Child Life Annual Conference is now closed. Abstract acceptance and non-acceptance communications will be sent out in mid-October.

For more information, please email Ramona Spencer at or download the 2020 Call for Abstract Guidelines.

Free Informational Webinar About the Submissions Process

For additional information about the abstract submissions process, an informational webinar is available: Understanding the Guidelines and Strategies to Improve Your Abstract Submission.

Abstract Submission Overview

Benefits of Presenting

Presenting offers the opportunity to:

  • Improve the child life profession
  • Share creative ideas and best practices
  • Demonstrate your leadership
  • Expand your industry recognition
  • Network with your peers
  • Receive discounted full conference registration
  • Earn PDUs

Suggested Presentation Formats

The committee is seeking all forms of professional development with an emphasis on interactive, experimental learning:

  • Sessions (1 hour)
  • Workshops (1.5 hours)
  • Bite Size (30 minutes)
  • Full-day intensives
  • Half-day intensives
  • Poster presentations

Presentation Domains

To assist attendees in meeting their certification requirements, we encourage submissions in the following domains:

  • Professional Responsibility
    • Ethics
  • Assessment
  • Intervention

Suggested Presentation Level

The committee is particularly interested in proposals of advanced level workshops developed for attendees with more than 10 years of experience, and completed research in the areas of play, medical play, bereavement support, and sibling support.

Suggested Topics

Suggested presentation topics for 2020 include innovative ideas and best practices in the following areas:

  • Academic & clinical preparation
  • Age-specific
  • Bereavement/Grief
  • Community-based child life
  • Cultural competency
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Diagnosis-specific (i.e., autism, sickle cell, etc.)
  • Documentation
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Ethics
  • Families
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Leadership development
  • Management strategies
  • Medical play
  • Palliative care
  • Play
  • Preparation
  • Program development
  • Research (completed)
  • School issues
  • Self-care/personal development
  • Specialty areas (i.e., emergency, oncology, etc.)
  • Technology
  • Therapeutic play
  • Other

Professional Development